The leading Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are committed to helping animal attack victims recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We have successfully handled all types of dog bite cases, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims in Fort Lauderdale and other areas of Florida.
Dog bites are a common source of injury in Florida and other states. According to the American Humane Association, more than 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. In fact, approximately 1,000 people require emergency medical care for dog bite injuries each day. While some states have enacted breed-specific legislation to ban more “dangerous” or “aggressive” breeds, this does not address the fundamental issue at the root of most animal attacks: negligent owners. The astounding numbers of abandoned animals and un-neutered pets demonstrates a lack of responsibility on the part of many pet owners.
Preventable dog bites and animal attacks can be caused by negligent owners who recklessly act, or fail to act in the following ways:
- Fence-off property
- Provide proper restraints
- Protect children from attack
- Inoculate for rabies
- Neuter and spay their dogs
- Exercise and discipline their pets
- Responsibly breed and own animals
- Warn others about their dog’s propensity to attack
- Search for and provide information about loose pets
Dog bites and animal attacks can result in serious injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, and teeth. In addition to surface lacerations, deeper bites can result in the loss of limbs, and even death. Dogs usually attack people at their extremities, including the legs, arms, hands, and feet. Some dog maulings injure a victim so severely, they result in death. Where an amputation is necessary, the victim must stay in the hospital for an extended period and maybe wear a prosthetic. This generally requires continuing medical treatment, physical therapy, and other rehabilitative costs. If the attack was caused by the owner’s negligence, these are costs the at-fault party must pay.
Florida law protects victims of dog bites caused by somebody else’s negligence. Under Section 767.04 of the Florida Statutes, a dog owner is liable for damages to all “persons bitten.” The law covers any dog that bites any person in a public or private place, including the owner’s property. Unlike other states that allow “one free bite,” Florida law makes owners liable regardless of the dog’s “former viciousness” or the owner’s knowledge of previous bites. If the victim is in any way negligent in provoking the attack, courts wills simply apportion a percentage of fault to the victim, and subtract it from the total liability of the owner. This means dog bite victims can still recover compensation, even if they were partially at fault for the attack.
Under Florida’s premises liability law, property owners must warn invitees and other guests of vicious pets because they constitute a dangerous condition on property. Otherwise, they are liable for damages to any person who is “lawfully” on private property, either in the performance of a legal duty or upon the express or implied invitation of the owner. Properly owners are strictly liable to persons under the age of 6 who are bitten by the dog, even if the attack was not proximately caused by the negligence of the owner.
If you were injured by an animal bite, the experienced Fort Lauderdale animal bite attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can help. Our firm has successfully represented numerous victims of dog bites and animal attacks, helping them obtain compensation for their injuries. Victims of preventable dog bites are entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost income, disability benefits, and pain and suffering. Our lawyers at Anidjar & Levine aggressively pursue your claim to obtain the maximum recovery possible in your case. We provide the highest quality legal representation to clients in Fort Lauderdale and other areas of Florida. Call (800) 747-FREE for a free consultation, or contact us online.